It’s been a year since we watched in horror as the Taliban took over Kabul. Responding to public demand for a compassionate humanitarian response, the UK Government under promised and then under delivered. Despite pledges of sanctuary from them, we have resettled relatively few people fleeing the country; in fact, in a recent parliamentary briefing, nine expert groups on Afghanistan called it “unjustifiably restrictive.” Too many people have been left behind, living in fear of retribution for working with the UK , or violence against their way of life.
For the people we have evacuated, many are now stuck in hotels, unable to settle into the community or begin to rebuild their lives fully. Then there are the people who arrived outside of the limited resettlement routes, people who had no option but to take “irregular” means to get to the UK. In the first three months of this year, people fleeing Afghanistan were the largest group of people crossing the channel. People who are forced to take these routes are now threatened with deportation to Rwanda, despite escaping the same horrors as people arriving on the resettlement schemes,
Today, over 160 organisations have signed a letter calling on the UK government to resolve the many failings of the Afghan Citizen’s Resettlement Scheme. We are one of these organisations, and stand together to say that this response is not good enough. This is not how we should treat each other.